was Peter, in your opinion, confident before the spider bite, or did that come as a result of his powers? did he always view himself as the only authority?
Okay, my answer to this is a third yes, a third no, and a third oh my god why haven’t I finished my Homecoming criticism post yet, for a lot different reasons. A big part of answering this ask is that I don’t know who Peter Parker is without Spider-Man. That’s a big part of why I have a tendency to keep him as Spider-Man in AUs when, for instance, I have frequently written Johnny without powers. Johnny without powers has, with some minor shifts, the potential to be the same person. I don’t think I can say that about Peter when so much of who he is as an adult is rooted in Spider-Man.
So I think, ultimately, yes, there was a seed of that in him, at the core of his character, however covered up by his life at the time it was. There’s a comic where The Spider tells Peter why he was bitten, which I know people have mixed feelings about because that takes it from a Random Accident into a more metaphysical “chosen hero” deal (I’m neutral on the concept myself, but whatever, I like this scene) that lays it out nicely:
“Why you? Because you were a hunter without teeth. You were chosen for your rage.” (Straczynski was really into the Peter as a predatory animal metaphor, which, y’know, I’m here for it.) Now anger =/= confidence, but by labeling Peter as a hunter, it frames him as someone who would take on that responsibility for himself, and would view himself as, for lack of a better term, the top of the food chain.
But before the bite, he didn’t have the physical ability to act on that instinct, and for a multitude of reasons (not the least the inherently Jewish concept of intelligence being a superpower, and that intelligence is something that Peter possesses by himself, no radioactive interference needed) I don’t think he would have explored that avenue on his own by, say, taking up boxing. (What would Aunt May think?) So I guess my thoughts on this are that those traits were in him all along, but the spider bite unlocked them, and that without they wouldn’t have surfaced. (Furthermore, without the death of Ben Parker, I don’t think they ever would have been used for such noble purposes.) The bite frees him to become that. Without it, they might never have manifested, or have manifested in negative ways. (High school Peter could have muttered LESS about how someday they’d all see, I’m just saying.)
Which is why I hate the emphasis that was placed on the suit in the MCU, but that’s part of a 2k post about twenty other things as well sitting open with my docs.